China flew nuclear-capable bombers over Taiwan before Trump call with Taiwanese president
A few days before President-elect Donald Trump spoke with Taiwan’s president over the phone, China flew a pair of long-range nuclear-capable bombers over Taiwan for the first time, two U.S. officials revealed to Fox News.
On Nov. 26, two Chinese Xian H-6 bombers, along with two escort planes, a Tupolev Tu-154 and Shaanxi Y-8, around the island of Taiwan from mainland China, taking off and landing from two separate Chinese military bases.
The escort jets were used to collect radar information and conduct other surveillance on American allies such as Japan, Fox News is told.
Chinese J-10 and Su-30 fighter jets performed escort duties for the Chinese strategic bombers.
Japan scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets to intercept the Chinese flight at one point in the skies somewhere northeast of Taiwan, according to the officials.
A high-ranking official from Taiwan’s defense ministry commented on the Chinese military flight Monday.
“This was the first time that Chinese aircraft circled around Taiwan,” Deputy National Defense Minister Lee Hsi-ming said, adding that China has said similar flights would occur in the future according to Focus Taiwan News Channel.
“China has steadily built up a massive military capability in the area around Taiwan. This isn’t simply a matter of flying bombers. Understand that technically, we can’t object to flying bombers near Taiwan if we are flying combat aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft near China. This is simply legal under international law,” Anthony H. Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said. “Taiwan faces a much more serious Chinese challenge than it has ever faced before.”